How to Find Out If a Warrant Has Been Issued

By Cheryl Hinneburg

Courts issue warrants for a wide variety of reasons, including failure to appear in court, failure to pay certain tickets and suspected involvement in a crime. If you have reason to believe that a warrant has been issued for you, it's a good idea to find out so you can take appropriate action before a law enforcement officer arrests you.

Call or visit the clerk at the court office of the city or county that may have issued the warrant for you. Ask them to check your name in their database. They will be able to tell you details about the warrant, such as who issued it and the procedures that have been taken so far, and suggest courses of action. Be sure to find out which agency actually holds the warrant for enforcement.

Search online. You may be able to access online information on outstanding warrants. Some counties, courts and law enforcement agencies maintain a warrant database that the public can access. You may be required to add some specifics about yourself, including your social security number or the court date that you missed. Several commercial websites also offer warrant-search services for a fee.

Ask a local law enforcement officer to search for your name in the warrant database. This option exposes you to the risk of being arrested immediately.

Hire an attorney to determine whether there's an outstanding warrant for your arrest. This option may be inappropriate for minor offenses, such as an unpaid ticket. For more serious cases, however, a lawyer will be able to research the warrant and then advise you on how to proceed.

About the Author

Cheryl Hinneburg has been a freelance writer for five years. In addition to the regular clients that she works for, Hinneburg also writes regularly for Demand Studios and Associated Content, and is a provider for eLance. She is an award-winning poet and is currently working on a Master of Science with a certificate in substance abuse counseling at Capella University.

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